The theme of the day on Monday at the Monte Carlo Masters: transitions.
Several ATP players are in the midst of them.
Stan Wawrinka returned to a 1,000-point tournament, trying to find his way around the court and into an elusive rhythm.
Borna Coric is trying to find his sea legs after his own prolonged absence from the tour.
Jannik Sinner is trying to raise his game and career to the next level, fighting off injuries while trying to deal with hype and expectations.
Sebastian Korda met Botic van de Zandschulp in a fascinating early-round match.
Karen Khachanov faced Diego Schwartzman in a twisting, turning three-setter.
All of these players are in the midst of transitions. Wawrinka and Coric are the most conspicuous examples, but Korda and van de Zandschulp significantly elevated their global profiles last year and are therefore in the midst of genuine transition years for their own respective careers.
Maybe Khachanov and Schwartzman aren’t classic examples of players going through transitions, but they are both a lot more under the radar than they were two or three years ago. They are both trying to find fresh inspiration and improved results on tour.
So many transitions, so many question marks. The story of these men is less about predicting what will happen for them, and more about the uncertainty they all face.
Is it clear Wawrinka will fail in this latest attempt at a career revival?
Is it clear Coric will succeed, given how aggressively he hit the ball against Sinner?
Is it obvious that Sinner will rise to a top-three, major-winning player?
Is it a lock that Korda will live up to his promise and potential?
Is it certain that Khachanov’s best days are behind him?
I don’t think we know.
Transitions are occurring in Monte Carlo, but we don’t yet know where they are heading.